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Empathy, morality and psychopathic traits in women

Seara-Cardoso, A; Dolberg, H; Neumann, C; Roiser, JP; Viding, E; (2013) Empathy, morality and psychopathic traits in women. Personality and Individual Differences , 55 (3) pp. 328-333. 10.1016/j.paid.2013.03.011. Green open access

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Abstract

Empathic and moral processing correlates of psychopathic personality have seldom been studied in women. In this study, we experimentally tested associations between psychopathic personality traits and empathic and moral processing in a female sample, and further directly compared them to results from a male sample. We found that high levels of affective-interpersonal traits were associated with diminished affective response to sad and fearful emotions in others; lower propensity to feel moral emotions; higher endorsement of utilitarian solutions to moral dilemmas involving direct harm; and less self-reported difficulty when performing moral decision making. Overall, our findings strengthen the view that the two dimensions of psychopathy make distinct contributions to emotional and moral processing; and demonstrate that, in women, psychopathic personality traits are associated with a similar pattern of empathic and moral processing biases as the one that has been previously reported in men.

Type: Article
Title: Empathy, morality and psychopathic traits in women
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2013.03.011
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2013.03.011
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0.
Keywords: Psychopathy, Empathy, Morality, Moral judgment, Moral emotions, Gender differences, Female
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1391695
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